Colorful masks, wagons, sleds, ropes and teams could all be seen on the back lawn of the Castle Valley Center on Thursday. Students of all ages participated in a race patterned after the Alaskan Iditarod. Older students pulled the “sleds” while younger students on each team acted as mushers. The 300-meter course consisted of different stations around the field behind the Castle Valley Center.
While each of the stations was manned by staff members of the center, they all pointed to Gayleen Kokal as the mastermind behind the race. Kokal commented that the race, now in its second year, is designed to “help the kids learn life skills that everybody should know.”
“We teach them about the weather in different areas of the world, about survival skills and about different animals, especially dogs,” Kokal explained.
Kokal also commented about the Alaskan Iditarod, a 1,000-mile race held annually. She said that the race has been moved 300 miles northward this year due to lack of snow. The racers, as a result, have suffered loss of fingers and some have had to forfeit in order to survive.
“The new course has a typical temperature of -50 degrees Fahrenheit, much cooler than the normal track, which has frozen cameras so fans have been unable to enjoy pictures and video of the race,” Kokal said.